Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Just Shutup And Listen, I'm A White Male."

Psychology, psychology. This 'white male = omnipotence' concept has been the center of (western) culture since...uhm....1492?

This role is still very popular among all forms of public communication, which (still) shows the lack of cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity in just about every industry. The 'majority' advertises for and with themselves in mind - duh.

Ever since i can remember ive looked through school textbooks, watched popular tv shows and read print ads asking, "where's the guy that represents me?". Im either in BOX:A or BOX:B. This, both subtly and overtly, has an undeniably negative effect on a young person's character development and perception of self worth. If you only see someone that looks like you in a handful of roles - you imply these are the sum of all that you can become.

no sir! let's teach the babies.

keep your eyes open.
- jelsen


Jeannie said...

i've always thought the same. i wait and wait for an asian person with a neutral role in ads, textbooks, movies and tv. Every year in school I would look up Korea, South in the index of my history book only to come up with under half a page on the country. Regardless of the fact that a whole damn war was spent there ravaging the country.
growin up it was Hair dye to become a blond, eye shadow is applied like this, the white girl cheerleader, normal families eat casseroles and soda; as a kid I accepted all of it but only when I was a teenager did everything seem unfair. Already it's hard to find your place in the world and follow your dreams without obstacle - every child needs a voice and needs the ones before them to set an example.

on a final note - those stock images are hilarious. look at that pseudo asian dude he's all "so you're saying this thing you call, 'a hand' can be used to do stuff for me?" and white dude's all "ok let me break it down fo ya..."

Hasani said...

Happy Native American Genocide!

I was reading a blog from one of my myspace "friends" about the whole Thanksgiving issue. If we should or shouldn't celebrate it. While my great-grandmom on my mother side was full-blooded Mohawk, I think this is just a humanity issue, that if we took the time to educate ourselves we would see there is really only right and wrong. Cancel the parade! lol

I can understand and appreciate the idea of turning negative things into positive ones, but does that assume that we as a culture have nothing positive to contribute or celebrate? Why is it that everything that represents the colonialism or imperialism of the past is seen as positive? Why are we always turning their history into a positive and at the same time writing ourselves out of history? Also, why is it that when you don't accept the whitewashed version of history and refuse to be force fed these blatant lies, you are painted as the negative and angry one?

It's sad that we've been so disconnected from our rich heritage that we have been blindly indoctrinated into following something that is clearly self-destructive. It is especially harmful to our children's mind's. I remember coming to the realization that I had been lied to by not only society and school, but also my parents (ok maybe THEY didn't lie to me but you get the point). There was this deep sense of betrayal that took a long time for me to shake. Who are we protecting from this information? Who stands to be most affected by the reality of our pasts?

While our children suffer from low self-esteem and hold little value for their own lives and lack a love for themselves or each other. This history told in a "positive" way devoid of the "difficult" and "uncomfortable" facts it seems to only be benefiting or at the very least not harming one group. Learning that your people basically were overrun with little to no resistance or revolt (of course if you pick a book you know this isn't true) is pretty demoralizing. By the time you get to college (if you do get that far) you've either lost all dignity in an effort to conform and adapt or you've rebelled against society to the point of criminality in some cases (without even knowing what you are rebelling against). All people are done an injustice by learning this G-rated nonsensical HIStory.

If I were of european descent why would I NOT accept my supremacy as fact? My superiority is right there in black and white in the history books for all to see, isn't it? I can't blame white people for not understanding "what the hell all you :colored"s is worked up about?!" If it weren't for europeans, hey, we'd be living in jungles or forests, eating each other. This puts a strain on how we all relate to each other as people. Our contributions to the world as we know it are not made to be common knowledge, while europe's crimes against humanity and the true brutal and malevolent nature of colonialism, imperialism and slavery are hidden as well. What we have left is a lopsided poisonous education that destroys the psyche of us all.

So while I love that it affords us all an opportunity to see, hug, kiss, converse, eat and drink with family members we ordinarily wouldn't see (maybe at any other time in the year). Let's not overlook the advantageous circumstance it provides as an excellent excuse for us to educate ourselves and our children about the truth.

Gina Kay said...

Along the same awkward line, I just finished some constituency ads (yes that is what they are called) for a rather mammoth company. I got a special photo bank conveniently broken down by minority. Asian, African American, Native American (only 1 photo!), female, physically disabled, Hispanic and groups of various constituents mingling together.
I am not pointing this out to say good or bad, only that it marks the time that we are in and it feels so strange to be kept here when I truly think* that the majority of the world is far beyond. */hope